Like many in the industry you get in at a young age and find out what a great industry transportation is and see the great opportunities there are. Most importantly what great people there are in our industry.
This month we say congrats to one of those gentleman on his decision to retire on the heels of his 80th birthday. Barry McKee came on board with the Transrep team a number of years ago and his contributions to our successes have been greatly appreciated. Barry helped steer the ship with Executive Placement and worked on Mergers and Acquisitions. Also helping when called on for other project type ventures with Kim Richardson Transportation Specialist Inc. There hasn’t been much Barry hasn’t seen in our industry, he is the ultimate professional.
When it came to his work Barry was meticulous, attention to every detail sometimes to a point of frustration for me. I remember saying to him once during a project we were working on, “this does not have to be perfect, were really good here”. His reply? “If my name is on it I will decide if its really good”. I learned something that day. I learned from Barry on many occasions, I refer to him often as the wise old owl. I asked him one day if he minded being called the wise old owl, his response “no, I deserve both”. Barry made me smile, made me think, made me better and complimented our businesses.
Here is the lesson. Barry and I are very different people and I say this in a positive sense. One of my early mentors taught me that if your going to have people sitting around the boardroom table working for the same company towards the same goals you better have different opinions and thoughts to stretch your ideas and directions. If your company is going to be successful you cannot all think the same way. You need to be on the same page but it can be very constructive to think differently. It is important that your team bring their ideas and thoughts to your business so you get different perspectives to become great at what you do. If I would of practiced this earlier in my business career our businesses (and my stress level) would of been better. It is referred to as business intelligence and sometimes that takes time.
Barry and I often had different thoughts and ideas numerous times. We respected each other’s opinions and most of the time we seemed to make good decisions.
Senior veterans and professionals retire regularly and when they do a ton of knowledge and experience goes with them. It’s important to embrace the expertise that is being offered during the timeframe you are around them. I have had the pleasure and benefit to have learned from many over the years some have pasted on while some are still with us. I am so thankful for all of them.
My recommendation to you is that you embrace every opportunity to learn and listen to the wise old owls. Over the years I have and it has benefited me in so many ways, I’m better professionally and personally for practicing this.
Thank you Barry, for what you have done for the industry, our businesses and our customers. Thank you for all you have done for me, I am better person because of you. You are appreciated.
Enjoy your retirement. Well deserved.